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5-Minute Calorie-Blasting Routine You Can Do In Your Office

When I lived and worked in NYC I was constantly on my feet. I walked to clients' home gyms, climbed in and out of subway stations, and made my way to the martial arts studio where I would train clients and teach group classes. The only sitting that fit into my day was those chances when I could snag a seat on the subway and sitting down for meals.

Now that I live in LA, I'm much more sedentary. I drive instead of walk and my work has shifted to more deskwork than ever before. I love that I can get outside to exercise almost every day of the year, but I don't love the lack of walking. In order to keep my body moving and burning calories, I came up with a plan to combat the more sedentary workdays.

Schedule short bursts of intense exercise into your workday. Each burst lasts just 5 minutes, which won't get you sweaty enough to need a shower or ruin your makeup (for the ladies). It is long enough, however, to get your heart rate elevated to create a beneficial hormonal cascade that will help normalize insulin levels, boost levels of human growth hormone, and help you blast calories throughout the rest of your day.

If you have an office or work from home, this is ideal. If you are in a cubicle or wide open workspace you may want to consider rallying the troops and creating an office-wide challenge group. Set reminders on your smartphones or computers throughout the day and when those alarms go off; jump up and get down. Do this circuit training routine at least three times throughout your day to experience the benefits of high intensity intermittent training without having to get to the gym.

Clear some space (and ladies, be sure to kick off your heels!) before you begin.

My 5-minute High Intensity Circuit You Can Do at Work:

1. High Knees and Front Kicks (1 minute): This exercise will help you warm up your body. To avoid injury, never go straight into a power move, like a burpee, without a proper warm up.

Make a target with your palms at least hip height, and begin to hit your knees to your palms, one leg at a time. Keep your core tight, and use it to lift your legs. Around the 30-second mark, begin to kick each leg out after the knee, turning it into a front kick.

2. Squats into Jump Squats (1 minute): Squats are one of the best exercises to tone your lower body, namely your butt and thighs. Separate your feet at least hip width. Depending on your hip flexibility, you can also turn your feet out slightly if that feels more comfortable, as long as your knees track (point) over your toes. Sit your booty back as if you were reaching for your office chair (you can even use one as your target). Just before you reach your imaginary seat, stand back up. Do this for 30 seconds or for a full minute.

If you are more advanced in your fitness, add a jump at the top of your squat and be sure to land with soft knees. Continue through until you have reached 60 seconds. This will add power to your exercise, increase your heart rate, and shape your calves.

3. Push-ups (1 minute): A push-up isn't just to pump up your chest. It also works your core and chisels your shoulders and triceps.

Choose your push-up position, either on your knees or on your toes in a high plank. Keep your spine aligned and lower your chest as far as you can without hitting the ground and press your body back up. Your elbows should point behind you at a 45-degree angle from your body.

One minute is a long time for push-ups, so take breaks when you need to.

4. Plank (1 minute): Work all of the muscles in your core including your lower back and abs. Similar to the push up position, your body is kept flat like a board, and you are holding yourself up on your forearms and toes. Hold your belly in tightly and hold position as long as you can without breaking form. Rest when you need to.

5. Burpees (1 minute): I'm sure you remember this total body, calorie-blasting exercise from high school gym class. Squat to the floor, place your hands down and jump your feet back to a push up position. Then come back up the same way you went down. Repeat as many times as you can in 60 seconds.

Go ahead. I dare you.


Jennifer Cassetta is a third degree black belt, clinical nutritionist and personal trainer. She loves kale, chocolate and wine. She loves to punch, kick, lift weights, meditate, and dress up in stilettos. She empowers people to be strong, safe and sexy through nutrition, fitness and self-defense, and you can read more at

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